The Own channel, which began two months ago, is being watched by only 135,' />

Oprah Winfrey's new television channel is floundering in the ratings.

The Own channel, which began two months ago, is being watched by only 135,000 people at any one time. The ratings are 10 per cent lower than for the cable channel Discovery Health, which it replaced. Only 45,000 of those watching are women aged 25 to 54, the audience at which the channel is aimed.

Winfrey, 57, has urged patience and supporters say ratings will improve when the chat show host begins appearing more regularly towards the end of the year.